Well I went and did it again. I got involved in yet another interactive fan fiction story. This time, my character was paired with Richie (much more to my liking). That story wrapped in early November 2008, and I had been asked to assemble the "story posts", that is, the posts that tell Richie and Jen's story, in one place for people to read.

So I'm doing it.

I'm having to add some filler as I go, as there were lengthy pauses between the verbose posts I made, but I'm trying to keep the flow of the story going.

The Richie/Jen story is only half of the fan fic project. The other half was a Jon/T story. That is not explored here at all. In fact, very little mention is made. Just enough so it isn't a surprise when T shows up at various points.

If anything is confusing, please let me know. I've been living this character for the better part of the last eight months, and her memories are mine. I forget, sometimes, that you all can't see into my head.

I hope you enjoy the story. It starts here.

~ Hath

Distractions, Distractions

Monday, September 28, 2009
Jennifer was working in her office when there was a light knock on the door. She turned around to find Ava standing there, toeing the rug.

“Hey Sundrop,” Jennifer said, making the little girl smile. “What’s up?”

“I had a question about the bedroom I’m sleeping in.” Ava and Joan had been with her for nearly a week now, and Ava had made herself completely at home. She had her father rearrange some of the furniture in the room she was using, and put some photos and other little decorations from her sightseeing adventures around the room.

“Sure,” Jen answered, turning from her computer. “What’s your question?”

“Well,” she answered, very tentative.

“Oh, do you want a different room?” Jennifer asked. “It’s okay if you do, there are plenty to choose from.”

“No, I like it, really I do it’s just…” she trailed off and shoved her hands in her pockets. “Well, is it my room?”

“Of course it is!” Jennifer answered. “For as long as you come to visit me.” She tried to figure out where Ava was going with this line of questioning.

“Well, then, would it be okay to change stuff in it?”

“Oh!” Jennifer said, her words clicking something in her head. “Would you like to make it a different color? Maybe decorate it differently?”

Not knowing what her tastes ran to, Jennifer gave her a non-descript beige room. It was literally a blank slate; filled with enough furniture to make a serviceable guest room. The furniture was basic, done plain oak: the headboard of the queen-sized bed, two book-cases, a big desk, two dressers (one of which has a gorgeous mirror), two nightstands, a lighted vanity, and bench for the end of the bed. It had a fantastic view of the pond, and Jen thought Ava would like it, but it really was quite plain.

Ava sighed with relief. “Yes!” she said excitedly, clasping her hands under her chin. She just as quickly dropped them. “Would that be okay?”

“Sweetheart of course it would,” Jennifer said. “Do you know what you want?”

“Sorta,” Ava hedged.

“Come on, Ava, spill.”

And she did. Ava had great ideas. She wanted to paint the walls a pale green, with either floral or lilac-colored accents. Maybe a stenciled floral border at chair-rail height, and she wanted to find throw rugs and curtains and bedding to match.

“Daddy will buy everything for me,” she finished, looking at Jen nervously.

“Should we paint the furniture, too?” Jennifer asked, ignoring the remark about the money. “We can pick up the green and lilac colors from the wall, or do something contrasting in pink or just make everything white.”

“We could do that?”

“Sure, why not?” Jennifer logged off from work and got up. “Get your shoes and your grandma, sunshine, we’re going shopping!”

While Ava ran off, shouting “Yippee!”, Richie came into the office.

“What was that all about?” he asked.

“We are redecorating your daughter’s room,” Jen answered. “We’re going to make it so girly and sweet it’ll make your teeth ache. She ran off to get Joan.” She squinted at him. “How do you feel about painting?”

“Lukewarm,” Richie admitted, “but anything for Ava. You sure about this?”

“Rich, if she’s going to spend any kind of time here, I want her to be comfortable, and to feel comfortable asking for things. Changing the color of a room is no big deal. I’ll get my brother and dad to help with the painting. You’ll have fun.”

“Fun? If you say so,” Richie said, doubtfully. He reached into his back pocket to pull out his wallet.

“What are you doing?”

“Funding my daughter’s shopping excursion,” he said. “What, you think I expect you to pay for her whims?”

“Sweetheart, I think I can manage a bedspread and some sheets for my own house.” She kissed him, wrapping her arms around his neck. “But thank you; Ava said you’d pay for it.”

“We’re ready, Jen!” Ava called, running back into the room. “Hi Daddy! We’re going to redo my room! Jennifer said it’s okay!” She ran over to the woman in question. “Thank you, thank you, thank you,” she gushed, hugging Jen tightly.

Jennifer laughed and hugged her back. “You’re welcome. Rich, call my brother, have him help you move the furniture out onto the deck. You’re gonna paint that too.”

“Yes dear,” Richie said, kissing her again and rolling his eyes on his way out of the room.

After stopping at Sherwin-Williams and Home Depot, the women dropped off gallons of paint in various colors, brushes, rollers, drop cloths, rolls and rolls of painters tape, buckets and even painter’s hats. Jennifer’s brother was already there, and the two men were starting to bring the furniture out onto the deck.

“Back already?” Richie asked. “That didn’t take long.”

“That was just trip one,” Jennifer said. “We got your painting supplies. Now you guys can start while we go do the serious shopping.”

Ava showed her father what colors she wanted where, and had him repeat it three times before she was satisfied. “Just like her mother,” Richie grumbled good-naturedly, and waved as she ran off.

Three hours and two department stores later, they were set. Ava picked out a gorgeous Laura Ashley print, and Jennifer had almost as much fun as Ava, getting matching curtains, throw rugs, towels for her bathroom, and an extra set of sheets so they could re-upholster the bench. Joan would help them make a huge over-stuffed cushion for sitting on the floor. The car was packed with bags by the time they got back to the house.

They went out back to find Richie and both Johns speckled with paint. Jennifer’s parents had come along to visit, and Ma was barking orders at the men. The men were finishing the last of the furniture when the girls rounded the corner.

“We’re back!” Ava called out.

“The room’s done,” Richie called out, “but still stinks.”

“That’s alright, Daddy,” Ava chirped, “I can sleep with you and Jen again.”

Joan saw the pained expression flit across her son’s face. “Ava, honey, why don’t you sleep with me tonight? We haven’t done that in ages.”

“OK, Grandma,” Ava said. “Let’s go see my room!” She led her grandmother into the house, and Ma couldn’t resist laughing.

“Ava been spending time with you at night, has she?” Ma asked, smiling.

“Yeah,” Jennifer answered, walking across the porch. “She’ll be happier in her room once it’s all done.” She pointed at the bags. “John?” she asked.

“Yeah, I’ll be your Sherpa,” he groused, but went to fetch the packages.

The women unpacked everything, and Ma got the sheets into the wash. “Nothing like freshly-laundered sheets,” she said. They set about ironing the curtains, and measuring the cushion on the bench so they could re-cover it.

When the phone rang, Jennifer hastened to answer it. “Yes?” she asked. After a few moments, she smiled. “Outstanding, see you then.”

When she hung up the phone, Joan and Ava were just coming back downstairs. Ava had a smile a mile wide on her face. “The walls are perfect,” she gushed. “And they did all the – whatchamacallit – trim in that purpley color and it looks awesome!”

“I just got off the phone with the rug guy,” Jennifer said.

“Rug guy?” Ava asked.

“Yep, they’re coming tomorrow to put down a lilac rug so your feet won’t be cold if you’re here in the winter. Once that’s down, we can move the furniture back in, hang the drapes and we’ll be done! The color is light enough that the throw rugs will blend beautifully.”

“You’re the best, Jen,” Ava said, hugging her close. “I love you.” She ran out to tell her father about the rug, not noticing the tears of joy in Jennifer’s eyes.


Alexandra said...

I love that Ava is starting to consider the house as her home enough to ask to decorate it the way she wanted. I also loved the end when she told Jen she loved her. How sweet. :)

Sambora's Answer said...

I really love how Jen and Ava are connecting!! I can also picture the look on Richie's face when Ava says she can sleep with him and Jen tonight, priceless! And picturing him covered in paint is really hot, by the way! Thanks for the update, as always can't wait for more!!!

Judith said...

awwww Ava really is a sweetheart, and it´s great how they all get along.
And now I have a pic stuck in my head, with Richie in working pants, paint all over him, climbing up ladders...thanks Hath!
Bring on more!!!

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